FIRE COLLECTIVE'S RESEARCH-BASED ARTS EXHIBITION ON GENDER AND POWER IN CHILDREN'S PEER RELATIONS
FIRE research collective is a group of researchers and other professionals working in the field of gender and power in the peer-relations of children and young people. Our goal is to raise awareness of the abuses of power and other injustices in children’s peer-relations and to explore arts-based and research-activist methods to address them. Our aim is to identify the links between gender and power and the unfair use of power, as early as possible, before those become prolonged and develop into bullying. Art exhibitions are one of our ways to communicate children’s experiences to other children, adults, educators, and decision makers to bring about sustainable change.
The exhibition organized in connection with the Gender studies research conference 2022 is part of two research projects: Arts and research-activism to address gender and power in pre-teen peer relations, funded by Academy of Finland (2019–2023) and the University of Oulu Eudaimonia institute spearhead project Intervening in Sexual Harassment in Primary School: How Arts and Research Activism Matter (2022–2025). The projects are led by senior research fellow Tuija Huuki.
Works are on display at Tekniikan aula, Linnanmaa campus throughout the conference
More information about the artworks:
What would children hope for in their friendships? What would the dreamlands of their friendships be like? Friendship Dreamland is a travelling art exhibition about children's dreams and hopes related to their peer cultures. The exhibition stems from Friendship workshops organised by University of Oulu based FIRE research collective. In their works, a group of 5th and 6th grade school children (aged 11–13) explored, together with researchers and artists, their experiences related to peer relations. The colorful characters, various elements and writings are extracted from the artworks made by the children during the workshops.
Statements on Wood
Statements on Wood is a travelling community artwork on friendships, gender and power, created together with school children aged 11–13. It provides information for decision-makers, educators and other children about children’s experiences, about the pains and pleasures of romantic relationship cultures and how children would like their relationships to become safer. The work has been produced as part of arts-based research workshops in which children have dealt with themes related to relationship cultures using creative methods.
Statements on Wood consists of elements created over the years by more than 200 children from schools in northern Finland. The lines drawn on the surface of the plywood were created by the children as they examined their feelings with the help of an emotional line drawing. The rudface of the plywood is covered by anonymous notes written by children in our numerous art workshops. The writings deal with prohibitions, desires and visions of change related to romantic relationship cultures.
People behind the exhibition
Art: Children from Northern-Finland
Workshops and curation: Tuija Huuki, Suvi Pihkala, Eveliina Puutio, Satu Suvanto, Helena Louhela, Eeva-Maria Korhonen, Anu Uusikylä
Photos: Sami Hänninen and Satu Suvanto
Project partners: University of Oulu, Academy of Finland, Oulu culture power station ry
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